Hashmied (Hush) Naidoo, Safrea’s newly elected vice-chairperson, is a seasoned photographer and photojournalist who started his career in the darkroom, learning how to print. This has given him a solid understanding of how images need to be photographed to capture the moment. He has travelled across South Africa to work on community-based photographic assignments.
Describe yourself in two sentences.
A Christian who loves serving and helping people, a father, a grandfather, and a creative passionate about capturing images that tell a story. Pictures that help generations to relive special moments.
Please tell us more about what you do and how long you’ve been a freelancer.
I am a photographer. However, I believe I am more than just that. I have a talent that has been bestowed upon me to tell stories through my images – images that will help people relive their moments, images that evoke emotions when seen. I have been a freelancer for 23 years now.
What does a day in your life look like?
A typical day consists of sorting out my diary, emailing clients, responding to queries, sitting at my computer, and starting to edit – that’s a quiet day. A day that I enjoy is waking up early for an assignment at 05:00, repacking and checking my camera bag, on the road at 06:30, arriving at the project and starting photographing what is necessary. If the assignment is a conference, I am on my feet all day; if a fashion shoot, I check lights, talk to makeup artists, and direct models; and if a corporate shoot, I interact with the CEO and board. We need both days to help us achieve what we need in life. Which do I prefer? Now that is a whole new question…
Where/how do you find inspiration?
I have always said my inspiration and talent is a God-given. However, He has always allowed people to intercept my life, allowing me to grow in specific ways. I also watch the trends on YouTube. One must remember that inspiration is all around us; we need to tap into what we see and feel.
What advice do you have for other freelancers?
The road is long and lonely sometimes, but always look for new opportunities, seek out and explore, and don’t procrastinate. I have found that asking for help is not a weakness. Always remember there are no closed doors, just missed opportunities. Try and collaborate with others in your industry, don’t work in a silo – when you are drowning, you need a helping hand.
How long have you been a Safrean, and why are you a member of Safrea?
I have been with Safrea for five years. I became a member because I wanted to be part of a community and help build and mentor young people coming into my industry. I see Safrea as an organisation that would be able to help shape the different freelance media industries into a body that will be recognised worldwide.
What is your work/life motto?
Allow God to direct your life; that way, you will always succeed. Build relationships – money follows good relationships. Never chase money.